Cheniere Energy Inc. has began production at the first natural gas terminal designated to export gas from America’s shale formations, with the first cargo expected already in January, Bloomberg reported, referring to a statement by ING Capital LLC that helped finance the project. In a previous statement, Cheniere informed that the UK-based company, BG Group Plc had been contracted to take the first gas shipment.

The company is receiving about 50mcf/d of the fuel, chilling it into liquefied natural gas at the Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, and storing it in tanks before the first export. Cheniere plans to convert the Cameron, Louisiana receiving terminal into a giant $11b export hub, with six ‘trains’ of 4.5m tons a year to be constructed by late 2018. It has already contracted supply to several major buyers in Asia and Europe, LNG World Shipping wrote.

Cheniere’s cargo will mark the first shale shipment from the lower US states, which is a testament to America’s surging shale supplies. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal paves the way for additional liquefied natural gas cargo facilities to be built, turning the US into one of the world’s largest suppliers, WorldOil wrote. The country may be capable of exporting 7.76bc/d of gas by 2019, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis quoted by WorldOil.